Agri SA is deeply concerned about the devastating impact of ongoing fire outbreaks in the Free State, North West and Northern Cape provinces. The fires have affected an area of over 400 000 hectares, resulting in the loss of grazing and various livestock, such as sheep, cattle and wildlife that either burnt to death or had to be euthanised.
Veld fires can cause extensive damage, destroying vegetation, harming animals, and threatening communities and food security. In response to the destruction of vegetation, emergency response efforts are needed to assist farmers with feed. However, the impact of veld fires can be felt long after the fire has been extinguished. The damage to soil health, the disruption of ecosystems, and the alteration of natural fire patterns can have long-lasting consequences. The recovery process is largely dependent on rainfall. Adequate rainfall is crucial for regenerating vegetation, restoring soil fertility, and replenishing water sources. With sufficient rain, the recovery process can be significantly expedited.
Agri SA’s Disaster Relief Foundation is therefore donating funds to Free State Agriculture and Agri North West to assist in the relief effort for the agricultural sector. We also call upon the public to assist in the effort to galvanise resources for the devastated communities.
These devastating fires have hit the agricultural sector at a time when farmers already face immense challenges, including loadshedding, deteriorating infrastructure, rising labour and input costs, and threats to their rural safety. As a result of all these challenges, farmers are currently liable for an estimated R205 billion in debt – a high burden that renders those affected by the fires unable to absorb this latest tragedy. For our nation’s food security, this should concern us all.
Agri SA will continue to make every effort to assist these farmers to recover. At the same time, we appeal to the public to help us provide relief to these communities that guarantee our food security.
Donors who contribute to this cause are eligible for a section 18(A) certificate. The funds raised will be utilised for the procurement of stock feed and transportation expenses. Every donation, no matter how small, can have a significant impact on the livelihoods of the farmers and farmworkers who have been affected by the destructive fires.
Source: Agri SA